Report on Kusatsu-Shiranesan (Japan) — 10 December-16 December 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
10 December-16 December 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Kusatsu-Shiranesan (Japan). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 10 December-16 December 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
36.618°N, 138.528°E; summit elev. 2165 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 5-12 December JMA maintained Alert Level 2 for Kusatsu-Shiranesan due to continued unrest. GPS measurements indicated inflation, although thermal anomalies had been absent since July. Volcanic earthquakes continued at a low level and tremor was absent.
Geological Summary. The Kusatsu-Shiranesan complex, located immediately north of Asama volcano, consists of a series of overlapping pyroclastic cones and three crater lakes. The andesitic-to-dacitic volcano was formed in three eruptive stages beginning in the early to mid-Pleistocene. The Pleistocene Oshi pyroclastic flow produced extensive welded tuffs and non-welded pumice that covers much of the E, S, and SW flanks. The latest eruptive stage began about 14,000 years ago. Historical eruptions have consisted of phreatic explosions from the acidic crater lakes or their margins. Fumaroles and hot springs that dot the flanks have strongly acidified many rivers draining from the volcano. The crater was the site of active sulfur mining for many years during the 19th and 20th centuries.